Nineteenth century British novelist, George Eliot is often credited with the quote “never judge a book by its cover.” Born Mary Ann Evans, it is easy to imagine why she would have said it.
Participants in University Libraries’ recent Blind Date with a Book were literally unable to judge the books by their covers, as the books were disguised with brown paper. Brave and curious readers were “fixed up” on a blind date…with a book. What better (or safer) way to get acquainted with new friends and far-away places? Library staff members loved playing cupid, wrapping books and setting up an enticing display, promising fabulous prizes.
But what relationship-savvy library user would agree to be fixed up without first knowing a little about their date? Clues, such as: “murder and mystery await the one who is willing to brave this frozen tale,” gave readers hints about the books’ contents.
Of the 183 books that were wrapped, 168 were checked out. The library staff cupids did their best to draw readers in with promises of a sweet experience.
Some reader’s experiences were similar to the non-literary dating world – a mixed bag – while others were blown away.
41 review forms were returned for the prize drawing. The reviews showed that many of the books had treated readers well, opened doors, provided good dialogue and really kept the readers wanting more. For one reader things started slowly with the romance, Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, but by the time the characters fell for each other, so did our Blind Date reader. Another reader reports no plans to go out again with Packing For Mars by Mary Roach, a novel that examines what it would be like to live in outer space. TMI, the reader said, too much information about bodily functions, but maybe Packing For Mars is someone else’s perfect match.
All readers who participated in Blind Date with a Book got to have some fun and satisfy their curiosity, but three lucky daters were chosen at random to receive one of three $25 gift cards to alocal grocery store, while five additional winners were selected to receive $10 each on their Wright1 cards. They can use their winnings to grab a coffee at Café Wright in Dunbar Library while they peruse the Popular Reading Collection for their next big date.
Gary Barlow, President of the Friends of the Wright State University Libraries had the honor of drawing the winners at the most recent Friends of the Libraries Board meeting. This is the second year the Friends of the Libraries have sponsored Blind Date with a Book. Board members were excited to hear how the “dating” went, Dr. Barlow reported.